In what is considered a victory for gamblers who enjoy wagering at online casinos, the UK Gambling Commission has found that social responsibility and consumer protection around gambling machines must be improved. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recommends harder protections for gambling consumers. The hope is that these regulations would reduce risks for the consumer, and hopes the government and stakeholders step up to the plate to do the right thing.
The majority of the recommended changes are focused around fixed odds betting terminals, basically a fixed percentage of all money wagered over a predetermined course of time. These terminals include but are not limited to simulate horse races, bingo games, dog races, roulette, and the video slots machines.
As online wagering explodes, these regulations would protect a broader range of the gambling industry.
Fixed Odds Betting Terminals at UK Casinos
Authorities are hoping that other organizations like faith groups, stakeholders, and local authorities, come to the table with input on stake limits for fixed odds betting terminals. While many operators did not want to lower the odds, many stakeholders feel lowering the maximum will be a more beneficial strategy long-term.
In addition to the reduction in stake levels, the regulators are trying to push for measures that would limit the amount any player can lose over a predetermined period of time.
The Usual Light Approach to Regulations
It is no mystery how the UK is looked upon concerning regulations. The UK Gambling Commission has a history of taking a light approach to any changes in regulations, compared to other countries that have much more strict rules that companies must abide by to operate an online casino. Case in point, most countries prefer players from that country only be a part of online poker tournaments and play. The UKGC sees things differently, and allows poker site operators to offer their games to anyone outside the country.
While this might benefit a player looking to be a part of a game with a larger grouping of players, larger prize pools, and more diverse action, the UKGC does see where improvements could benefit the player and protect their investments.
Shocking Revelation of Underage Consumers and Online Gambling
The advent of social media has exposed a younger generation to the gambling industry, and it could derail years of efforts of legit companies. When these players play games on Facebook that simulate real casino wagering, they get hooked at a dangerously lower age. One study revealed that three percent of kids between 11 and 16 have admitted to gambling with real money at an online casino.
The worry for regulators is these free games on social sites are actually encouraging younger people to gamble. No regulations exist as of today for free social casinos targeting younger clients, but regulators are working to possibly require some type of age verification system by the casinos to keep underage kids away from online gambling.
With the market for online gambling reaching a broader audience, the commission feels now is the best time to get regulations in order to ensure this industry thrives and the consumers are protected.